New England Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 06: Levi Wallace #39 and Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills tackle Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Highmark Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

As a glass-half-full kind of guy, I try to see the positives even in the darkest of situations. Perhaps I’m not cut out for sports media, for that very reason. But in the case of the New England Patriots, I choose to take a fresh positive from a sports universe currently inundated with COVID-19 news.

The Patriots have answered yes to an emerging rhetorical question: can a team go one day without someone going on COVID reserve? Breathtaking milestone in Foxborough: miraculously, no one tested positive for COVID-19 or entered the NFL’s protocol for any other COVID-related reason on Wednesday.

News that’s easy to miss these days, but a comforting fact. No new COVID cases on the Pats’ roster, for one day, anyway.

Of course, COVID was able to cram in a few new ones on Tuesday, when the Patriots placed quarterback Brian Hoyer, linebacker Josh Uche, and special teamer Brandon King in the protocol. But on Wednesday, they not only had no new COVID cases but had a positive differential, as they got back rookie Rhamondre Stevenson at practice.

Monday was the most worrisome COVID day of the … week. That’s when cornerstone linebackers Matthew Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley entered the protocol. But based on Judon’s Twitter reaction to the news, he seems like his return is imminent. He has a good chance to return in time for Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s vaccinated, and the NFL continues to update the COVID protocol to allow all players (even the unvaccinated) to return quicker. Judon is also scheduled to speak to the media on Friday, which is a good sign for his potential availability on Sunday.

We’ll see if the Patriots continue trending in a positive direction, or whether this very article jinxes the whole thing. As of publishing time, no new COVID cases have been reported out of Foxborough. Let’s see if the Pats can have the COVID equivalent of their seven-game winning streak.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at